A new, reduced green rate has been established for the Palos Hills Municipal Golf Course in 2016 in the hopes of doubling attendance from the previous year, the chairman of Golf Course Committee said last week.
Ald. Ricky Moore (4th Ward) told the council and a handful of residents in attendance at the meeting Feb. 4 that the new fee for golf at the nine-hole course is a flat rate of $10. Last year the fee to play the course was $17 for adults, $13 for seniors age 60 and older and $10 for players under 18.
“The golf course is there 7/24 no matter how many people are there,” said Moore, who serves as chairman of the City Council’s Golf Course Committee. “Let’s see how this new rate works out. Golfing (attendance) as a whole has kind of been in the dumps everywhere. We are obviously hoping to increase attendance by a lot.”
Moore said the goal for 2016 was to double attendance from last year. Figures for 2015 were not available at last week’s meeting.
With the new rate comes the elimination of all promotions and discounts including the “Siesta Special,” which allowed for the purchase of two rounds of golf for the price of one from noon to 3p.m. Moore said a 10 percent discount will still be offered for all members of the military playing the course.
“We feel that if we have the best, cheapest golf in the southwest suburbs that we will have higher activity at the course,” Moore said. “Our motto has always been to provide the best golf for the best price in the southwest suburbs and we believe we are doing that.”
The golf course, 7301 W. 105th St., is just one year removed from a major $200,000 clubhouse renovation.
“We are always trying to improve the course,” Moore said. “We just put a couple hundred thousand dollars into the clubhouse last year and we are always looking to update and maintain.”
The course boasts a pair of Par 5 holes, three Par 3s and four Par 4s. The championship tees offer golfers more than 2,800 yards of course.
“It’s a challenging course,” Moore said. “A lot of the people I talk to say ‘it’s not Pebble Beach, but it’s a challenging course.’
“You are going to improve your game if you play here.”
Moore said fellow Golf Committee members and aldermen A.J. Pasek (3rd Ward) and Joan Knox (1st Ward) were also in favor of reducing the rate.
“Our goal is to appeal to the masses,” Moore said. “I don’t know where they are going to get nine holes any cheaper than $10. That is the message we want to get out.
“Is it a little bit risky that we’re doing this? It is, but hopefully it will work out.”
The cost of cart rentals has not changed from last year, Moore said.
In other news, Mayor Gerald Bennett told the council he intends to present them with a recommendation for the city’s new building commissioner by Feb. 15, and is hopeful a hire can be made at the meeting three days later.
The city is looking for a permanent replacement for Gene Nelson, Palos Hills’ longtime building commissioner who died on Oct. 29 at age 79. Gene Newman, a plan commission member and architect, was named as Nelson’s replacement last November.
The city has since decided to make the building commissioner a full-time position and Newman recently indicated he would not be interested in taking on the position on a full-time basis, Bennett said following the meeting last week.
“There’s just too much work for (the building commissioner) to be a full-time position,” Bennett said. “Technically Gene Nelson was working 20 hours a week but he was putting in many more than that.”
Bennett said the city received around seven applicants for the building commissioner, which has a salary of around $75,000.